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Vid of Nicky Hager talk tonight, Waikato

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 pm, September 8th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: blogs, brand key, democracy under attack, election 2014, internet, news - Tags:

Nicky Hager’s talk at the University of Waikato was very well attended. There was spill over into a second room where some people watched the talk on video.  The talk was organised for journalism students.

Hager and his book Dirty Politics

The video livestreamed.  Unfortunately I only caught some of the questions at the end.  However, I will be watching the full video later tonight.

The video of the talk is here.

The introduction of Hager starts at about 21 minutes into the video.

Among the answers I heard to questions put to Hager after the talk, he siad the following:

Key’s friendly relaxed demeanour is fake. He’s actually very ruthless. Hager said its astonishing he’s got away with fake public image for so long.

In response to the politics of discouraging political engagement, encourage change by being role model – let people see you doing stuff.

No-one has taken legal action against Hager because of Dirty Politics.

Hager also said he used the most significant of Rawshark’s hacked material in the book.  So, basically, there’s not anything much more of significance to come out.

32 comments on “Vid of Nicky Hager talk tonight, Waikato ”

  1. Saarbo 1

    Also said that the hacker only managed to get a fraction of info that was on Slaters computer.

    Attack Politics is used when there is a big gap between the political parties views and the general publics views.

  2. brian 2

    An extremely good evening. Hager gave a polished speech; and the questions (and responses) were insightful, I’ll watch the speech again from the video above.

    One of his conclusions that has been little discussed is that public servants, and scientists, and even the academics need to have the freedom to be political, after their day job being servants. We have fewer and fewer people involved in politics (attack politics have not helped); and an antidote to the development of the whaleoil stuff, is simply to have greater involvement in politics …outside of parliament. Public servants are not as constrained by rules in many overseas countries as they are here. Twenty/Thirty years ago political pressure groups had significant numbers of public servants. A simple rule change (from the top) could change this state of affairs.

    My wife and I were on koha duty. Thanks everybody for the contributions.

  3. Vaughan 3

    Thanks Karol, much appreciated.

    Nicky Hager is a Hero and a National Treasure. We The People are truly blessed to have someone like Nicky on our side – THANK YOU for your bravery and courage!

    Please let us consider Nicky Hager for New Zealander Of The Year 2015!

    Sacrifice a small amount of your time to nominate now online:


  4. It was a great evening and this:

    “Key’s friendly relaxed demeanour is fake. He’s actually very ruthless. Hager said its astonishing he’s got away with fake public image for so long.”

    Was in answer of a question of mine as to whether John Key’s banking history as influenced the way he ran his ship.

    I was able to introduce Graham McCready of the John Bank’s court case fame who studies at the Waikato Uni to Nicky Hager. It was a sight to behold!

  5. Bill 5

    Hmm. One of the answers he gave made no sense whatsoever. He was asked if the two track system (and say, ‘Dirty Politics’ in general), were right wing phenomena. Part of his answer was that if Slater was seen as being successful, then some-one or some-ones on the left would emulate him and the network he’s a part of.

    But since the two track strategy is about putting people off from voting because it favours right wing agendas to have less participation….

    Anyway. It was a good presentation with good questions. Thanks for the heads up Karol.

    • Duggie 5.1

      The ‘two-track’ system refers to the practice of having the leader isolated from the dirty tricks campaign. Hager recently gave examples from the Obama campaign on Wallace Chapman’s radio show to show it is a tactic that has been used by the left overseas. Hager fears there is a danger that the left could stoop to it here also.
      That is different from putting people off from voting because it seems futile and corrupt. That seems to be exclusively a right-wing tactic.

    • emergency mike 5.2

      I don’t think it was nonsense. If Slater had carried on being successful then others would have emulated him. At some point some bright young spark in Labour might decide that they need their own Slater to compete. If that happened then NZ politics would indeed move further to the right as per Lusk’s long term plan. And yes voter turnout would fall, and yes that would favour the right. Because left options would slowly vanish.

      When Hager said that National had empowered Slater it hit me that that’s one of the things that really bothers me that hasn’t been much discussed. That by going down this road National has empowered Slater. Given him power to be feared. As he said people with families and careers might think twice about taking him on with his connections, and their resources.

      For me another thing he said when answering that question stuck. That the more a party’s agenda diverges from what they think they can openly sell to the electorate, the more they resort to dirty tricks. I thought of the tobacco, alcohol, and sugary drinks industries. The same thing applies. They know how unhealthy, i.e. carcinogenic, their products are, but they don’t want you to know. So their slimy back channel tactics are up there in severity. Similarly at a personal level when a psychopath targets a victim, they hide their true agenda, and go to extreme tactical lengths achieve their objectives.

      Cameron Slater is an aggresive carcinogen in our politics, and by extention, in our society at large. This government has actively enabled and empowered him. This point makes me angry the most. Thus they have both shown themselves to be a threat to our democracy. Slater is now toxic to the people and circles of influence whose attention he craved. I hope he has done his dash and will slither off into irrelevance. But the actual cancer, #teamkey, still has a chance, incredibly, to win this election. It must be removed before it grows.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        So, am I right to say that we agree the left couldn’t engage in DP as described by Hager, but that a professionalised political class could and probably would? Maybe (unfortunately) I needed to be precise on what I meant when I said ‘left’. By ‘left’ (in terms of parliament) I exclude any and all careerists in any party.

        So, for example, I’d view the ABC club – Goff, Shearer, Mallard, Hipkins, King, Cosgrove, Clark and others as professional political careerists with no real left credentials. And I’d draw parallels of intent, if not organisational presence and ability, between them and the Slater aligned cliques within National.

        I’d further suggest that Shearer was a failed attempt to install a ‘nice guy’ in Labour as a counterpoise to National’s JK, and that next on the careerists list of front men would be Robertson.

        The $64 000 question is how to shift their sharp little claws from the fabric of the Labour Party. They aren’t going to resign or move on off of their own backs. I recall that Cunliffe already suggested that those not fully supportive of a new direction for Labour ‘do the honourable thing’ when he became leader. No resignations resulted and the steady trickle of shit that was set to build around his leadership began.

        And yes, to be truly successful, they’d need a Slater etc, but you’d hardly be able to call such a person a ‘Slater of the left’, would you?

        • karol

          Hager’s answer is that people with the dubious politics of hidden agendas and 2 track politics, probably can’t be stopped directly. His answer is to build up the democratic public sphere, where people are not afraid to speak out and challenge them. This would result in sucking life out of those with their hidden agendas.

          He talked about going back to allowing public service workers to be able to talk about politics in their own time.

          • Bill

            Maybe a part of that building could be genuine politicians from whichever stripe to come together and make cross party efforts to cleanse parliament of these types.

            So…some smear is run by the Nat clique against a Labour MP. The larger Nat Party, instead of enjoying the point scoring, denounces the smear and brings the discussion back to substantial matters. Same applies if say a clique begins to smear an MP within their own party, opposition parties denounce the smearing and bring the discussion back to substantial matters instead of enjoying the schadenfreude.

            In other words, all politicians from all parties adopt an ethical stance, put all careerists/professionals ‘on notice’ and thus, perhaps, effectively shut down their operations.

          • CnrJoe

            Boycotting advertisers ala’ Dirty blog ..sorry Daily Blog is mmm so good. Why advertise 2 click-farms & bots?

        • lprent

          And yes, to be truly successful, they’d need a Slater etc, but you’d hardly be able to call such a person a ‘Slater of the left’, would you?

          If I see one emerging I think that I’d have quite a lot of fun eviscerating and humiliating them with words. They have some pretty obvious characteristics.

          The main one of which is the presumption of personal moral authority and intolerance of dissent to their opinions. In fact much the same characteristics as evangelicals or gurus, both of which are deeply appreciated by unscrupulous political operators.

          That is why I keep an eye on people like Josie Pagani and a few others.

          And yes, I’m quite aware that I have the potential for the guru effect myself. However I really dislike being anything like a guru mainly because I find acolytes offensive, and I prefer arguing and incremental improvements to “winning”. That was agreed on by the original main authors and is why this site is constructed to encourage intelligent disagreement.

          • Bill

            If I see one emerging…

            The only environment one could emerge in, would be one where we wind up with a wholly professionalised political class/parliamentary political system.

            In other words, there are many more things to be on the lookout for…essentially any gutting of traditional parliamentary left politics/parties would be indicative of the stuff that would make the emergence of a ‘Slater’ clone a possibility. And I think that was happening before Cunliffe. Now my worry would be the professionals/careerists within Labour enjoying a resurgence.

            I really do wish (and I said it at the time) that Cunliffe had acted ruthlessly towards the technocrats, professionals and careerists within Labour instead of seeking to accommodate and mollify them. But hey, what’s done is done.

        • just saying

          There was no “new direction” for them to slither away from. Maybe Cunliffe is just the unpopular member of the club. I’m sure all those mentioned above are quite happy with the Labour Party as of September 2014, if not their current places in its hierarchy. But they are patient beasts…

  6. ExStatic 6

    I can’t understand why Hager did not name the high profile journalists who had almost daily contact with Slater. Surely that is in the public interest to know?

    • Peter 6.1

      How difficult would it be to come up with a shortlist?

    • brian 6.2

      I’m not sure that most should be so vilified, with our benefit of hindsight. Most would have used him as a necessary source ….Slater was after all being used by the “office” of the Prime Minister. Possibly I’m being too kind, but I’d also not like a witch hunt to follow, simply because people have contacted him in the past. I’d question more any journalist who continues to have contact with him.

      • brian 6.2.1

        Now I have just seen the Waikato Times report of Hagers talk to WIntec students yesterday afternoon (before his evening speech at Waikato University)

        Hager deliberately avoided using the names of journalists in his book …except for the “despicable Glucina”. More good decision making from Hager.

        • karol

          Thanks, Brian for the very good reports of the event, and for the linked article.

          Hager is also putting the journalists on notice, saying to the dodgy journalists, I know who you are, clean up your act.

          • Bill

            So one or two journalists have done the ‘mea-culpa’ – and all credit to them.

            But I’m picking that most will be reaching for the broom and lifting the edge of the carpet. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see just how many WO and Kiwiblog lines continue to be picked up.

            • karol

              I think it will take a change of government, for there to be a shift in the MSM along with RNZ/MTS/new public service TV channel, to start employing more journalists that aren’t somehow implicated in the WO smear machine.

  7. karol 7

    I have tremendous admiration for Hager and the work he has done with Dirty Politics and his previous books.

    I do have a bit of a niggle about his understanding of the blogosphere. He clearly has a very good understanding of what has gone on with WO and to a lesser extent KB. He did say last night that leftwing blogs don’t do the same dirty dealings of Slater et al. But I think he is a bit shaky in understanding how the wider blogosphere works.

    nevertheless, Hager does make some sweeping statements about the unruliness of blogs. he says bloggers print whatever they like even if it is totally made up or inaccurate.

    But we still need to follow laws of defamation, etc.

    WO has got away with a lot, partly because of the way it was empowered by the government and by some significant MSM journalists.

    However, since Hager’s book has put WO under a spotlight, many of its posts have been deleted.This indicates that, once put under scrutiny by society at large, there’s stuff Slater et all think they could get into trouble for.

    Sunlight is clearly a very good disinfectant.

    And I think a blog that wants to get a solid reputation, will aim to be as accurate as possible, and will guard against infringing laws of defamation, copyright, etc.

    • Tracey 7.1

      Contact hom karol, email him a description of the blogosphere. I believe he would welcpme it.

      • karol 7.1.1

        I may do a post on it at some point. Right now I am overwhelmed with keeping up with election developments, plus loads of stuff happening in various parts of my life. I am feeling I’ll be glad when the election is over.

  8. Z 8

    Sound is terrible and quite agitating to listen to. Nicky of course is wonderful <3

  9. Dramaticus 9

    When you look at what John Keys uncle Alan did to Brooksley Born over her trying to stop the derivtives ripoff you can see why Key is here running this country into the ground
    The power of the Fed to make or break a country is so obvious and Key has been a major player in all of it
    He is far more than just a happy rich boy completing his boyhood dream
    We should almost fear for our very existance if he is allowed to rule
    We will not have the country that is Godzown

  10. Dont worry. Be happy 11

    OK here’s a journo who is not afraid. Rachel Smalley.

    Please someone who knows how link to Rachel Smalley’s editorial on Newstalk ZB this morning, 10th Sept around 5.15 am, please do it and post.

    She spoke of poverty and the choice we get to make. And while I dont agree with the “Great Leader” motif, preferring a Great Movement, she spoke Truth to Power. Courage, compassion and brains, the trifecta!

    No doubt her name now goes on some sort of list that’s kept in some sort of drawer. Even if the list and the drawer don’t exist we have been bullied into believing they do…

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